After two weeks staying in Bangalore, I have to get away from city to get a break. So I went to Goa for a weekend trip. Goa is a beach resort town on the west coast of India, which is about 1 hour flight away from Bangalore. Comparing to the busy and polluted Bangalore, Goa is nice and peaceful. I can tell the difference once I step out of the plane. The air in Goa is refreshing, no only it has breeze from the sea, it also has the fresh smell of greenery. The whole city is surrounded by trees and plantation. The coast line of Goa is a really long beach, probably over a few kilometers. There are lots hotels and vacation houses along the main road a few minutes walk away from the beach. It is a tourist heaven.
I took the Kingfisher airline from Bangalore to Goa. The Indian domestic flight is better than I expected. Although the flight is only 1 hour, we are served a nice meal on the airplane. The airport in Goa is small, it only has two gates. After we got off the plane, we can walk to the terminal building under the sun from where the plane is parked. The weather of Goa is sweaty hot, only when you are under the sun or moving. If you sit under the shade, it is quite cool. The hotel is about 1 hour from the airport and 5 minutes away from the beach. The room is quite nice in Indian standard, most important it has air condition. We were quite tired after the traveling, so we just have dinner and retire to bed early. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant next to the hotel. It is funny that all customers are white people! The Indian food there is westernized, so it actually taste not bad.
The next day was quite an adventure. It turned out we joined a Indian tour, so we are touring the city with a whole bus of Indians. One good thing about the Indian tour compare to white guys tour is that there is not souvenir shop over. The second good thing is that the four is full of surprise. We don’t know the itinerary and we can’t really understand what the tour guide said, so have no idea what is our next destination.
The first stop is a beach, nothing special. The next stop is the Bom Jesus Basilica, which house the relic of St. Francis Xavier. The church itself is named one of world heritage sites by UN. Too bad that the relic of SFX is placed high up, I couldn’t get a closer look at the dead body. Then we visited the Mangesh Indian temples. You have to take off your shoes to enter the temple. Since I am not that keen on taking off my shoes, so I didn’t go inside. I just take a few photo form outside. You can’t take photo inside anyways. Other than some god statues, probably nothing interesting inside the crowded temple.
In the afternoon, we visited another Indian temple. All Indian temple looks the same. It got one main building a white tower and a large pool. You see one, you see them all. The temple itself is kind boring, but the rice field next the temple is quite a view. I never seen a real rice field before and never know that rice field is so green. It probably has RGB value of 0-255-0, you have to see it with your eyes. After seeing the temple, we went to a Portuguese house museum. It is an old building preserving how the Portuguese lives when they colonize Goa. The guided tour is quite interesting and it’s like a school field trip. Probably the white guy tour will not come to this place and I don’t see any white guy in the museum.
The next stop is another beach. This time we are given an hour of free time, so I and Martin just have a beer and chill out on the beach. The beach is mostly Indians. Some people swim but most of them just walking around on the beach. There are a few jet ski for rented and speed boat offering parachute-ride. It is kinda scary seeing the jet ski going between the swimmers. No wonder the tour guide told us not to swim. The tour ended with a river cruise. The sun set and the sea breeze are nice. However the cruise boat has some funky Indian dance show and the noisy music is quite annoying. I rather they let me enjoy the river wide quietly. Apparently the cruise boat as double as floating disco at night. When we dock, I see lots of young people lining up for the next boat run.
After a full day of tour on Saturday, Sunday is very relaxing. We just went to the beach and sit there doing nothing except having beer for the whole day until the car pick us up to the airport. We had a nice walked along the beach and get our foot wet in the cool ocean water. Too bad that I am stuck with Martin inside of Pat. We both agree it is kinda gay. I saw some fish boats on the beach and fishermen repairing their nets. I guess the local people still catch fish for living. A more stunting scene is rows after rows of beach chairs. Along the several kilometer stretch of the beach, I estimate there are at least ten thousand beach chairs. Can you imagine the beach chairs are full of white guys sun bathing in the peak tourist season?
Two days in Goa is too short, I wish I don’t have to come back to Bangalore. Bangalore sure gave me a bad impression on India. After seeing Goa, I think India is not too bad after all.